The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“Singing has always been important in the Christian tradition. From the singing of a hymn in the Upper Room on the night of Christ’s betrayal to the present day “Jesus Christ Superstar”, Christians have tried to express their faith in song and hymn.
St. Andrew’s Church in Chateauguay is proud to be part of this great tradition. Founded in 1833 by the Church of Scotland, located in a home within the community tat is still being used by descendants of the family, and moving into its first Sanctuary in 1837, the people of St. Andrew’s have sought to sing God’s praise. In 1880 a new building was erected to accommodate the growing congregation and in 1910, like the Tabernacle of old, was relocated to its present site in order to be in the midst of the Protestant population.
In 1925 the Congregation joined the newly created United Church of Canada, thus the founding Presbyterians joined the Congregationalists and Methodists in enlarging and enriching the worship and work of God in the community and across the country.
Over the years the reputation of a singing congregation has been helped and encouraged by the enthusiasm of a the Choir who have attempted all types of music to enrich the life of the people and give praise to God.
In September 1964 a new venture was started with the formation of St. Andrew’s Sunshine Gospel Singers.
At Expo ’67 appreciative crowds were drawn to the Bandshell near the Russian Pavilion to hear them sing. The Christian Pavilion at “Man and His World” in 1968 and in 1970 were scenes of further triumphs as was the “Bell Convention” held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel on October 24, 1971. Since their inception 175 performances have been completed on and off the Island of Montreal.
All the members are from the Choir of St. Andrew’s United Church, Chateauguay and their meaningful singing is portrayed in Gospel, Spiritual and Modern Folk Music.
The Sunshine Gospel Singers present their first record not only to show the quality of their singing but also as an expression of their faith of Him who puts songs into their lives.
Eric M. Drakeford”
A Canadian private pressing gospel album. I seem to be making the gospel section on this website pretty prominent.
The album opens with the song “Let My Little Light Shine” and well, the vocals are alright and musicianship is pretty great. It’s definitely not all that bad, but just too much. After that comes the track “Oh, Happy Day” and you know this is about as Gospel as songs can come in this genre is this exact song right here. It’s not all that bad. The female vocals are really defined, like really, really defined. Then comes the track “Just a Closer Walk” (which I originally heard on the album ‘Closer to the Savior‘ by Denise – which is still my favorite.) This track however isn’t that good, the lead vocals have too much of a opera sound while the backing vocals seem to be dronish. “I Wish I Knew” follows next, and well, I’m starting to see this album as more of a ‘choir’ sounding group, they all kind of just go and sing the songs as a vocal group, but they sound choir-like. The song wasn’t all that bad. “Zaccheus” comes next, and I do love that spellcheck says bible names are wrong. The song is alright though, definitely not liking this vocal group thing they have going on though, why has Lee Gilbert not sung yet? Are there no male vocals on this album? They then go on to cover Joan Baez with the track “Blowin’ in the Wind” and well, Joan does it better. I’m alright with this album, the song did pick up some. The A-Side closes with the track “The Lord’s My Shepherd” and you know, this has that creepy Christmas movie vibe to it, and like it’s making me feel all weird. Not sure what to think of this album yet. That concludes the A-Side.
The B-Side opens with the track “Sing Hallelu’” and isn’t it supposed to be ‘Hallelujah‘? – though this song isn’t all that bad, it’s definitely an interesting listen. I’m still confused by this whole album for some reason, it just seems a little off for me. “Precious Lord” follows next, and it’s a slow song, like very slow. The vocals aren’t bad, they just aren’t my type of thing, know what I mean? Then comes the song “How Great Thou Art” which is a good song, and they do perform it rather nicely, and finally Lee Gilbert joins in on vocals (finally.) – and his voice is like something you wouldn’t expect. It’s more like you have to hear it to know what I mean. Then the whole group joins in on singing – even Lee. “Un Canadien Errant” comes next, and this song is in french, therefore I have no idea what is going on in this track. I think it just switched into English. What? “Joshua” comes next, and you know I forget what album I heard this song on before, but I know I most likely didn’t like the song – I lied, I did like it, I found out what album it was. This version however, isn’t as great. “Less of Me” follows next, and by this point I’m kind of bored with this album, like it’s not overly bad or anything, just a little bit too repetitive for me, vocally speaking, nothing overly special on this album. The songs are mediocre. The album ends with “A-Men” (and it’s ‘Amen’.) and well, can you guess what they sing over and over again? The song title. Nope. Not doing this.
A1 – Let My Little Light Shine
A2 – Oh, Happy Day
A3 – Just A Closer Walk
A4 – I Wish I Knew How
A5 – Zaccheus
A6 – Blowin’ in the Wind
A7 – The Lord’s My Shepherd
B1 – Sing Hallelu’
B2 – Precious Lord
B3 – How Great Thou Art
B4 – Un Canadien Errant
B5 – Joshua
B6 – Less of Me
B7 – A-Men
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Vocalists – Audrey Bauer, Judith Frigon, Lee Gilbert, Margaret Drakeford & Alison Gilbert
Other Albums I Own by Sunshine Gospel Singers: